Title: Interview with Iola Dial (October 9, 1972)
Full Citation
Permanent Link: http://ufdc.ufl.edu/UF00007029/00001
 Material Information
Title: Interview with Iola Dial (October 9, 1972)
Physical Description: Book
Language: English
Publication Date: October 9, 1972
Spatial Coverage: Lumbee County (Fla.)
Funding: This text has been transcribed from an audio or video oral history. Digitization was funded by a gift from Caleb J. and Michele B. Grimes.
 Record Information
Bibliographic ID: UF00007029
Volume ID: VID00001
Source Institution: Samuel Proctor Oral History Program, Department of History, University of Florida
Holding Location: This interview is part of the 'Lumbee County' collection of interviews held by the Samuel Proctor Oral History Program of the Department of History at the University of Florida
Rights Management: All rights reserved by the source institution and holding location.
Resource Identifier: LUM 36A

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OCTOBER 9, 1972

I: This is October 9, 1972. I am Lew Barton interviewing for the

Doris Duke Foundations, American Indian Oral History Program under

the auspices of the University of Florida. Today I am in the home

of Mr. and Mrs. Woodrow Dial. W-o-o-d-r-o-w-D-i-a-l. And with me

is Mrs. Dial. I wanted to talk to you for a long time because to me

you're a typical Christian and we all appreciate your sharing some

of your ideas and ideals with us. And I find in talking with people

who come in from the outside Mrs. Dial, their concepts of Christianity

are not always the same as ours. Our people really take their religion

very seriously, you know. And, uh, but first let me ask you about

yourself. Would you tell me your name and your husband's name and


S: You want my age too? (Laugh) also? Or just his. May I say I have

been here for quite a while. I am sixty. Sixty the 13th of June, 1972.

My husband, Woodrow Dial is 58. He was 58)May 31, 1972.

I: And before you married you were .?

S: Agnes Io3aChdiis Dial-idaughtereverand ---Chais and Agnes

B. Chaqis. We are quite well known amongest our people. I guess

you would say from one end of North Carolina to the other.

I: Right.

S: She was--in her field she was a doctor. And he was a preacher. He


was an old-time uneducated He definitely knew the Bible. And

he was very dedicated to his work and she was. And being brought

in a Christian home, I think it's about the most wonderful thing

could happen to an American boy or girl. I see the need now the

need of Christianity in the home from the beginning to the end.

I: Of course you are speaking in terms of being a practicing Christian.

S: A practicing Christian is a wonderful way toput it because I do

everything for the Lord I can do. You know, as far as possible

for me to.

I: And you know we were talking just a moment ago before we started

this tape. And I remarked on how happy you always seem and I said,

"lola, you're a happy girl." And what was that you said to me?

S: Well, the secret--I said the secret. There is one secret in

being happy. You love the Lord; you know he loves you; you love

people. And if you love people, people are going to love you back.

I don't care where you go or what race or how high up in society they

are or how lowly or humble--if you love people, they are going to love

you back. I found that on the streets. Sometimes I test it you know.

I go along and say,O.K. I'm going to smile from here to that post.

Well, I smile from there to that post. And I'll bet you there is

not five people out in 25 that don't smile back and say hello.

I: Contagious, isn't it?

S: Yeah, yeah. It spreads. You know that's the way the Lord said for it

to--he said" Love thee one another even if I have loved you." You

know if there is no love, there is no getting along: not in your

home, not in your church, not in the community, not in the road. You

just don't get along, if there's no love.


I: Well, that reminds me of another question and that is the young

people throughout American today are talking about love and singing

about love. And some of them are talking specifically about the

love of Christ. And they are saying that love is the answer to all

the problems of the world. Would you go that far?

S: If you dig deep enough you will find that love is the answer to all
the problems becauselyou start, you start at top go to the bottom or

start at the bottom and go to the top. Either place yodre going to

find love at the top or love at the bottom. So that the young people

are doing what we should have done years ago.

I: Right.

S: Because there wouldn't have been so much envy, strife, and greed and

all the bad things that have happened to us if we had expressed love.

Yesterday, if I may say this, yesterday I went to Stuart's Cemetery

over about--John--somewhere over-in John's Station. It's a real

old cemetery.

I: Yes.

S: But here--here was buried the Indians, here was buried the whites

and here is buried the colored. The only thing they had between
the, you know, was stone posts all the way down. And these ama-

guards, I think they call them. But that's all that divided them.

I: Uh, huh. This is a very old graveyard isn't it?

S: Oh yes. Seventeen-seventy--seventy-seventy something. I remember

it's the oldest one that's really been--there were a lot of graves

that the markers, you know were so old that they were out you couldn't

tell when they were put down or anything. But here's what I think.

I think that even back then that they expressed more love than they


did for a period in between here. Now these young people. They

are going to do away with this that we've had. And they express

that love. They let you see it. And you know what we've done to

our people, our young people? We say O.K, you're a good member of

the church, you're a good mother, you're good in your home. O.K.,

well you've got this child over here and he's--well, he's in the

home so he can here. What'd do, what'd say, how you act? W&ll,

you're going to get out there on the outside and present a good

front to the public. But in this house, it's not like it is out

there. And that child starts to rebell right then--and I'm not

going to be like my mother--I'm going to out here--I'm going to be

what I am. And if they want to rob, they rob and if they want to be

good, they're good. They're good all the way. When you find one's

that's good, he's really good.

I: The surprising thing that different children come up in the same

family--the same family background and no two of them come out exactly

alike. Uh, I've known children who were born in homes that people

who bootlegged whiskey and they turned out to be wonderful.

S: Very good--in all seriousness. Well, .

I: And then the other extreme, too, you now.

S: Well, no two people are alike, even in a family--no two people are

alike. You're you and I'm me--I'm your brother or your sister but

still I have different views and ideas about different things. But,

no two people don't think alike. And when the human race comes to the

conclusion that you were right to think what you want to think, but

take, you know the good people--take from there and build up good in


that person's mind that wants to think evil and let him think--let

him think good. If hw sees that you are living a life, he or she,

if you are living a straight life infront of the children, there is

somebody willing to take a pattern after you. Now these boys at

this station, that you might say--well you know practically all of

them. I mean, you know how they are around here. There's not a one

of them much that will let me hear him use foul language, because

I told them when they were little, I'll wash your mouth out with

soap or I'll whisk you. The big boys believe now that I whipped

them. Well, I never touched them in my life. And wouldn't.

I: But they don't know this do they?

S: No, and I hope that they don't hear this! (Laugh) Because if they

did, it might be--no, I don't think that--they all respect me and

if they don't love me, they put on a very good front. But youkcow

it's wonderful, like I told you at the beginning, you love people,

they love you back--good or bad.

I: lola, you look like a, you know, I hope you don't mind my remarkind

on this. You look like a typical Indian, you know.

S: Very, very, very proud of this. (laugh)

I: You're very proud to be an Indian?

S: I'm very, very proud to be an Indian and I'm very proud of the success

that our people have made during this, would you say decade?

I: Right.

S: I just hope to go on to high heights and deeper depths. You know,

I think--I think that we have had a lot of success because we are

dedicated Christians. If you notice, we don't have, uh, I'm not


bragging, I'm stating a fact. We don't have storms and all to come

you know, as often and as violent and severe as most people. But

the older people are mostly dedicated Christians. and the young

people are becoming that.

I: And you think this is true of our people generally?

S: Generally, yeah, everywhere. Yeah, I go to quite a few churches.

And you'd be surprised at the young people that take even more

interest in church affairs than I do, than we do. I mean, you

know, I try to know and do what I can do for--some of us are very

lax my age. And, the young people are on the ball.

I: Some people from the outside who come in and observe, uh, you know,

Christians among the Lumbee Indians. I have heard the remark made

that this was a very strict kind of Christianity. I mean, they live

by a code, by certain rules and they're certain things you do and

certain things you don't do and all this sort of thing. And, this

is the way it appears to some of them. But, uh, is this a true

picture do you think or. .?

S: Yes, definitely--definitely it's a true picture. Because right here

as long as I could, in.fact I don't now let my children go fishing

Sunday. I teach against going Sunday. Anything to keep the Sabbath

Day holy. And I hope my diL4en are going to teach their children the

same thing. Because in doing that, you keep this spirit of Christianity

going like that. And if you've noticed, there--Christianity is

------'), you know generally of the land.

I: Right.

S: But we're trying--we're trying to keep our strict rules and keep our

children in line like that and our children's children. Don't you know,


lead them. Now you take nowadays, you have to--you don't tell,

you ask; that's what I do, I ask mine, I don't tell them. Now

my mother told me--you go to Sunday school--you go to Sunday school!

I: I've heard she demanded you to, didn't she?

S: You go to Sunday school today. I went to Sunday school today and

every Sunday. And I, if she said -- I- 1

I: How about discipline in the family; )uld they tan your hide?

S: Are you kidding?! I only got two whippings in my life that lasted me

a lifetime. I did--I got one about taking eggs--I took egg out in

nest but it was a setting hen's egg. I got torn about that. I never

forgot it. If she sent me to get eggs, I got the eggs she sent me for.

I: Do you think Lumbee Indians are pretty strict disciplinarians generally


S: More so I think than many of the other people. They say we're too

strict but I don't think so. We're generally, we can move our-L -r

You know some of the younger people are going against this

strict stuff--but I think tanning their hides helps them. In fact, I

know it, because I've done it.

I: As I recall, I never had but one whippping in school and that was

Reverand Lonnie Jacobs and I was in the llth grade when this happened

to me and I was up large enough--I thought I was q44c ng anyway. You

know, and I pleaded with this man, he was principal of Prospect School.,ie

_- C I pleaded with him not to whip me let me do anything else. He said,

no you get this whipping or you go home. And I didn't want to quite

school, so I took it, you know, that was the choice he gave me. But

later on, I appreciated it and I went to him and told him I said, I

deserved and and you did the right thing and I'm glad you did it.


S: It was just. All right, that's the way the Indian people are

generally. They have the ideas along those lines. Now the

younger people are obiLgated to get out--the way they discipline

their children.

I: He used long switches. I don't know whether the parents use

switches any more. But I don't know whether our listeners and

readers know what a switch is, maybe.

S: This girl uses a switch! (laugh)

I: You cut down a baby tree, sort of. (laugh) A small limb off-

or a--now that's exaggerating but it's--sometimes it's long as

I am and these oak switches--when they cut you around the legs

with them, they wrap around your legs two or three time. And,

oh, boy.

S: Well, then you remember the next time not to do what you did that


I: Right.

S: A different thing in a different way. But you don't do that same

thing over and over.

I: It mind have been a crude and rude way of ding it, but I sure got the


S: We still get the message. l was out at the recreation center fishing

last year and uh, there was a little old lady. She's 87. We call

her Aunt Duck when she's coming across the river. And she saysi-she

had a little boy with her and she had three big fishing poles. He just

took one you know and wanted the fish and dabble with it a little bit

so she took it--and he took it, she says, boy if you don't put my pole

down, I'm going to turn your hide. She went over there and got her a


switch--this long. Now he didn't even bother--he didn't bother that

pole anymore. He says, Grandmother will do exactly as she says.

I: Uh, huh. And the older people, some of them, made your drop your

pants if you happened to be a boy. They said they didn't believe

in whipping clothes. They wanted to whip you

S: Yeah, my mother didn't whip my clothes, she whipped me. (laugh)

I only got two whippings but I remember them.

I: But don't you think we've softened up some in this respect?

S: We have, yeah. We don't do as much as we used to. We do--we

don't--I don't think we do quite as much as we should.

I: Id you got a whipping in school and came home, would you likely

get another one?

S: Definitely. And that is what I told my children. And I never knew

that one of them got whipped until they graduated, both of them, from

high school.

I: When they got whipped, they didn't tell it at home, did they?

S: Never, never. I never knew Junior got whipped. I thought he was

a model child. He says I got whipped plenty, but if I had told you

when I come home, you would have whipped me again. And I would have.

I: Is this to show that the teacher and the parent stand together in

this matter of discipline? Do you think this is why this is? Do you think?

S: Definitely. And I think, you know, if the parents of today wouldn't

side with the child. Because when that child goes in that classroom,

it is under that teacher's care just like at home under your care.

I: Right.

S: And unless she's a different person from what I think school teachers


should be, she's not going to whip that child unless if he gets

a paddling he deserves it.

I: Right.

S: And the parents instead of that though, they will go out and there

and well, now you whipped my child and I come out here to see why.

She shouldn't question that--you sent your children to school and

you ought to could trust--you ought to could trust the teachers;

in some instances you know that it has been I think they over-

disciplined the child--maybe ---- too much. I don't believe

in that but I believe in tanning their hid enough to make them mind


I: But if somebody--if somebody punished the child, you know actually

thought the child was guilty and then it turned out the child was not

guilty of this, what would the parent feel likely to say or the older

parents anyway? Do you remember'the attitude they would take?

S: No, well, I never did experience that. Let's see, but I think they

would have said that, uh, if she felt that she right, she was right.

I know that's what the older people thought.

I: My grandmother--I was thinking about my grandmother who whipped me

once. And I hadn't done what she whipped me for. And after it was

over, she said--more than likely you did it at one time or another.

And this made my mother furious because I was the only boy in the

family and she, uh, my mother resented this very much. But my mother

did not dare speak one word to her mother about this thing.

S: How well I know that. How well I know that. It's different today.

I think that the attitude that the parents take toward teachers.

My child is too good to be whipped or my child didn't deserve this or


even my child do deserve a low grade. If the teacher don't

know who does? (Background: "We sure don't know, do we?") No.

I: This, about the family structure among the Lumbee Indians, would you

think it was oriented patriarchal type of family or you know, where

the husband is the absolute head along those lines?

S: The majority of the Lumbees are. Now there's a few who know that--

that think different. And, uh,

I: Not many Indians are members of Woman's Lib, are they?

S: (Laugh) No--I told them that Women's Libhas really messed a bunch

of us up. (laugh) I definitely believe a woman's place is in the

home. I mean, you know, she can take a part-time job I think and

work some--enough to get a form of recreation for herself maybe.

But this going out and taking a job--I don't believe init. A

woman should be at home and raise her children.

I: And you think raising the children is more important than the rest

of it, you know?

S: Definitely more important! A child from years 1-6 is moral standards

are built then. From 1-6. Now, all these women that work, they've

got babysitters and they take these kids to the babysitters. And the

babysitter has one set of rules to tell you. When they come home at

night and the mother and father have another set of rules and regulations.

That child's confused. What does he know that's right? You say well

Miss so and so said so and so and did so and so. Now you're doing this

different. It's nothing but confusion for children. They don't know

who is right.

I: Right. I think--the parents ought to be agreed and if they are in


disagreement, disagree not before the child but somewhere else.

S: Oh, no. Definitely, definitely not.

I: Well, there is one thing, lola, I don't agree with-about our

family structure. That is, the old practice of--you know of our

people they're getting away from this, aren't they? And this is)

they will thi(land to the boys and leave the girls out. Well, the

girl can marry property but the boy should have, uh.

S: All of the land, well. yeah, I

I: Are they getting away from that?

S: I believe they are. Well, I know I wouldn't allow anything like that

to happen in my home. Now Woodrow's father did that. You know how

he did and how he did. But I would not allow that.

I: But he was just one of many. I mean, this was the general .

S: The general rule among the Indian people. I mean, you know, that's

the way they did it.

I: And this is part of thae-ar*ekarehal-family structure the way

is used to be I understand. In England, for example, this was once

the rule. Uh, we are cha ng some, aren't we, don't you think?

S: We are changing some. You know--I'll tell you the ones that follow

their parents' rules are more strict than we. There are some of us

that don't. You know we think different from what our parents thought.

But most of them now, up around Prospect and across the river-L --

-----------. Now they think just like they used to.

I: They haven't changed much, have they?

S: No, un, uh they say well my father did this and my father was right

and I'm going to do the same things. As a general rule, I believe

they're changing, because I wouldn't have let anything like that


happen. I give my girls just about even with the boys, because

I think that's fair

I: A lot of interesting things about our people, about the family

structure, and so forth to other people because, uh, well, to

some people everything about the Lumbee Indian is interesting)or

nearly so.

S: I'm proud of that. I mean I'm proud to be a Lumbee.Indian. (laugh)

I'm proud that they think that much about us because, as for us, I
Cile/1 e:e
think that we've come along pretty fear. Because'practically brought

ourselves up by our own boot straps, I mean without any help. For

years and years and years, we didn't get help for anything. We

supported our own schools, our own, definitely our own churches,

our own association, everything. You know, the Methodist

conference, the Baptist conference--we supported our own and

we had to work hard to do that but we did it.

I: And sacrifice a lot.

S: Definitely. That's about all we did was sacrifice and I'm proud of

what we accomplished.

I: Do you think this helped us to appreciate the church and the school


S: I thinkso--I think that's one reason why, you know, as we say the

people think that we are so dedicated. We do appreciate what we've

gotv-our education, our churches; well, as far as we've come everywhere,

politically, and oh, all, you know we used--nobody voted in here or did

anything like that. i t A[ Aee ?

I: Do you remember ever attending a Mg h-8l vr ()r mot.ieng?


"I Aror Me I
S: No, my father told us about the Brush-Harvar ( eetingl. I don't--

I believe Harbart was talking about that yesterday.

I: 1arbart Moore.

S: No, my brother IPrbart. Is it him or brother Jim?
Af( r
I: Well, do you know what they were like and why we had Brush-Harvar


S: We didn't have no churches to have meetings in.

I: Is this because we weren't allowed to have churches, do you think?

S: No, we weren't--well, no, we weren't allowed to have churches then of

our own. We were, well, I would say we were persecuted that way too)

because we weren't allowed to have our own churches, our own schools

for quite a while you know. And remember, I believe our first school

was, uh, was it Old Saint Anna, I mean that I remember my daddy talking

about around here, for us. They called it the Academy and you know,
0o Ae colorece
these folks waatAschool but then they got tired of that because they

definitely knew they were not colored. And, uh, they went out there

and had their meetings and built these, I call them platforms--they

put wire or strings or something up on posts--and then put the you

know pile brush and stuff up there. Go ahead and have you a good

meeting. Had good meetings too, they said.

I: I bet they had good times at those churches.

S: Oh, yeah.

I: I know the meetings--I know many of the churches are very emotional

and you know, ome people say this is good and some people say it's

not so good. It depends on your point of view. But, uh, I like that

myself. How about you?

S: Definitely. If I--I wouldn't have a religion I couldn't feel. I don't


count it religion if you don't feel it. You're going to feel

it someway and you're going to express it someway. You're going

to express it and show your love for somebody. You're going

help somebody. You don't definitely have to get up in the church

and shout from one end of the other. Of course, that is wonderful;

I love that too. And I love good ole testifying me--we have those.

And some of our members get very emotional--I'm proud of. I get

emotional sometimes.

I: Do you think this helps to bring other people into the church?

S: Definitely, definitely. If you here, now take for instance the

revivals, they had the youth revivals. Now you heard from them--

you know we had whenever they begun the youth revival. Well, the

young people and the old people and all they were out in the yard

and everywhere praying and singing and confessing the Lord and having

a good time in all those meetirgseverywhere.

I: lola, what happened over there. I heard, was this last year you're

talking about?

S: Yes.

I: Everybody came home and the kids started talking about everybody

being converted or claiming religion or being saved or whichever

way you want to put it. And it seemed this was a wholesale sort of

thing. I never heard of it happening that way before. Was there a

definite reason that you know about. I mean, any kind of influence

that's--or was this just a phenomenon?

S: It was a phenomenon. It spread--just from one to the other. You know,

it went to the school house; it went to the churches; and in the homes.

People were being saved in the homes. Well, the preacher called me yes-


terday evening. Said he went to a home and there a man saved

there. It's still going on. They're having those meetings right


I: This is the first time I have ever heard of that happening. Sort

of a spiritual in this magnitude, you know.

S: Well, I'm proud of it. I mean.

I: However, it came about. It's a good thing, isn't it?

S: It's a good thing. It certainly is and I love it. You know, there's

a lot of the teachers that wasn't in favor of that revival they

had at school but they had the revival and they couldn't stop it.

I mean, you see. No, not one ding in this world.

I: You know there was ruling passed by the court a few years ago.

You know, making it unlawful to read the Bible or pray in church

or this sort of thing. Do you think affected our people anyway?

S: No, no.

I: They went right on doing it.

S: They went right on doing it just like they always have. Watch out.

I: Uh, in other words, they figured in this case that God's law was

superior to man?

S: Yeah, well, God's above man anway. And, well, our people believe

that wholeheartedly. You don't find very many atheists I guess

you'd, in--among Lumbee Indianpeople. You will find some that will

say, "I don't believe in God." But ifhe gets sick or something

happens to him, that's the first an he calls on. He's been taught

that from bab d u and things l*ke that you know.

SA lot of these people they Je -- =-' -------.--------

S Yeah, yeah. I've got a daughter, you know, she never says a thing


about that. She come home and we had remodeled our church and

fixing to scrubbery around it and it looks very different from
what it did. She said, mama this is not the old church anymore.

You know, we had a little board church. Now it's ---k-b closed.

It don't seem like the same but still have to and I enjoy it.

I: I've heard remarks made about he great number of churches we have.

Some people wonder if this is a good thing or not a good ding.

S: It must be a good thing or it wouldn't happen. I mean, I don't

think that it would have made it happen. Now, they'll say, O.K.,

we've got confusion in our church. Now I now where this is one

church, there was confusion--split the church right then. But the

other part of the church, which was different part of the community

that people didn't even go to church. And that community is completely--

it is a completely Christian community, even the young people. That

was good.

I: So you think the Lord can take something that isn't altogether good

and bring something altogether good out of it?

S: I:know he can do what he sets out to do. (laugh) He can do anything.

I: Uh, this is certainly one way the church has spread, I imagine not

only in our community but in communities all over. But, how about

communications between churches and church people. People don't

frown on you if you go to a church different from theirs, among our

community, do they?

S: Not any more, not any more, no. They're all--not during our youth

revival and what we call our main revival--we have denominations.

We have Methodist, we have Baptist, we have Holiness, we have Church

of God people, we have--I don't know if.e. have- anm.Jehoyah Whtnesses


or not. But we do have all other denominations I named. And I

believe we did have one or two Jehovah Witnesses. I don't know

if they come in for, you know, out of curiosity or because they

like the way the worship. But.,,.., (-s ...==--w

1 /Ijust don't have any of those.) ".No, we do have some Catholics

That you see the boys went off and married--you know Steve married

a Catholic girl. Her children go to the Catholic school, uh church.

That's Steve church. And it don't make no difference. If you're

a Christian, you're a Christian. I don't--denominations--that's

manmade. That's a manmade custom--denominations because, if you're

a Christian--you're a child of God. That's all that matters.

I: Iola, would it be too painful to you to talk about your father a

little bit?

S: No, I enjoy talking about my father. For a while, I missed him.

I still miss him. But for a while there, I couldn't talk about

him much without crying and people would say well of all the things

well now see. .and all that suffering. I knew that--they didn't

have to tell me that! But I just couldn't do anything but cry. If

you can't help it, yodre going to do it.

I: How long has it been since he passed away?

S: In '69.

I: In '69. It hasn't been long. And how old was he?

S: Ninety-nine.

I: Ninety-nine.

S: Uh, huh. And he hadn't retired. Background: I heard so much about

"- ii,tHe was a minister. He hadn't retired. He was getting-t- ---
-'c -^^yJ cfse ^r


I: I know you've heard him say how old he was when he first started


S: Oh, I've forgotten.

I: He was just a boy wasn't he?

S: Uh, huh. Was he 12 or--I believe he was 12 or 15 years old.

But he good--uh, daddy said he was the good one in the family.

I'm not bragging--I'm stating a fact. I'm saying what she

said. She said it don't matter what you put--they called him

Zim--his name was ---- and they called him Zim. It don't

matter what I had to do that was particular. I could leave Zim

to do it and it was done. And he was scared to death of a gun.

And I don't believe he shot but one in his life and killed a cat

accidentally. He, uh, before he was born, now this is one of the

superstitions, you know,that our folks have. That before a child r

born, you know,if his mother's frightened, he'll be the same way.

When. .

I: The child will be --------

S: Yeah, when Henry B(rry Lowry was hiding out then and Granny and

Grandpap had a big plantation. They had fences and they had their

orchard up side the fence. And Granny was there getting apples in

her apron. That was ----two-four--Daddy was four. He come across

the fence of this thing and he seen the condition she was in. And

he said he couldn't turn around and go back, because if he did, you

know, she was stooping down to pick up apples so if she'd heard me,
when she turned around, she was all frightened. So he said, Miss
Chavis, don't be afiid, I'm not going to hurt you. She turned around


and looked at him. She said she liked to have died, because,

you know, she had heard so much about him. (Background: And

you do remember your grandmother pretty well?) es, I do, yes.

F (Background: how old was she when she died?) She was 84. My

mother was the same age when, uh, my mother died.

I: How many children do you think your mother helped to bring into

the world? Have you any idea?

S: I wouldn't say. I wouldn't dare say. Now, Brother Ulsey has a

record to those, pages. And it's a file of them, which she was.

I: It was in the hundreds or thousands.

S: I believe they said the last--the last account they had on her;

I believe my sister said there were 1900 and something. She did

quite a few after daddy. A Ou know they completely abandoned


I: Yeah.

S: She was too old anyway. J t I have seen her go and when she come
C C? ) re
in--her sfk I .. .. would b for Thursday night here and they

wore long dresses and ------ --walking, you know, go across the

foot log in the winter and go and make her baby. (background: she

was blessed.) ^ ------.....

S: Yes, she was blessed. She didn't suffer--I believe it was about

six hours; she was ----- old lady. Went out and looked at

her flowers, Wednesday, I believe she said. She showed me what

she wanted. And then she said, come spring, I'll not be here when
they out. I .said, Mama how you do talk. That's craxy! And she

had been in there playing with the grandbaby, Avis's children.


Certainly she used to --------.

I: All of the older people were--were they more neighborly to each

other than people today?

S: Yes, well, you know I think now like--like the old saying is,

"I measure everybody's corn by my half bushel." Now I think my

intents are good. But you know intents don't feel a hungry person's

stomach or don't help a sick person do a thing. But I think people,

like me, they have so much to do they just don't get to it. Now you

take when mama and daddy was raising us and all, all we did was pick

cotton, and worked in a little bit of tabacco and visit people. And

if somebody got sick, it didn't matter how long they stayed sick, if

they stayed sick a month. You know they had--or months--they had people

to sit up with them and tend to them.

I: People would come from miles and miles around here. Your father

would pray for them especially if they were sick, wouldn't they?

S: Yeah, yeah, and I have seen that faith exercised here so much


I: He was so good. He was loved by the people.

S: When he was sick, now people came. ..



I: Side two--side two of the interveiw with Mrs. Woodrow Dial.

Uh, you were talking about your father, I believe, when we
ran out of tape. I was listeningtintently to what you had to

say, I didn't realize it was out of tape. I wonder if we could

kind of go other this called his healing ministry. A I saying

it correciy?

S: Yeah, that's all right.

I: Let's talk about &iat a little more. We-and what you were just

saying is very interesting.

S: Well, I asked him why couldn't I train and do the same thing he did

because we served the same God and we prayed the same way and all.

But he says,'Row this comes with age. When you get to the place where

the things of the world don't bother you, then you'll have time to

dedicate yourself to the Lord. And that way you can do it too."

But you've got to have faith--you've got to have the faith. And he

had a passage in, I believe it's St. James the fifth chapter, the

last of the fifth chapter of St. James that he always decided before

he prayed. And, uh, well, if when I get in trouble or when somebody's

sick or something, I sit down and I read that chapter. I really don't

mind--I read that chapter and then I pray and then I get relief. Now

I don't--I think the gift--I think healing is a gift.

I: Think it's a divine gift?

S: Yes, I do. I think it's -- i -_L _S a gift too. But if our

faith is strong enough, we can some of the things that we want to do


You know, God will hear us. But there is things we ask for--we

don't know what's good for us--he does. I know one fellow got up

in my church and asked the church to pray. He lead the prayer

for his brother to change. I don't care how it comes about. Now

this is the way he prayed. I don't care how it comes about. You

see, he was in a high emotional state and I don't think he was

thinking about what he was saying too much but only he wanted him

changed. It was to drink, bad to curse, bad to do everything that

wasn't good. He said I want you to change. When he come back

to church, that was on Wednesday night prayer meeting. And when he

come back to church Sunday, he was crying and asked the church and

Brother Jim to pray for him. He says, what's the matter? He says

"Alice has been shot in the eyes. -- 4---

I: With a shotgun maybe? I

S: Um, huh. With a shotgun. Brother Jim says --- ---- says
/f I, I ,r
remember the prayer you prayed Wednesday night? He says, yeah.

He says --- ---------- ------

----- ---- And __yl dIg going right straight

and retract that prayer. He says, don't do it. That--he knows that's

saying that we ought when we ask for things like that, we ought to

know what we are doing.

I: Well, he's certainly a man who has been missed and will be missed for

many years to come. Sometimes we wonder who's going to replace a man

like that. But really nobody can, can they?

S: I don't think so. I mean they've been well-liked by the-------------



You remember Daddy always wanted to pray that he received the

gift that he had. And Jim always said, Now Pa, I can't

---, I have to have mine. And, so he kept on and on and

on but let me tell you what happened. Brother Jim had said and

said and said that h didn't, well, he didn't think he could ever

come near f't. qNow people go to Jim just like they did my daddy.

He prays for them. He goes to the prison in the afternoons.

i--- tl ----so forth. He started just like Daddy. When Daddy

started, he went to some of the meeting association --

"- "'---. The public was shocked. He asked them about, you know,

when the Lord called him, when he really dedicated his life to them.

I don't know if you remembered when he was sick--I believe he was

about 74 years old, we he had a hemorrhage,l know you heard about

it but you didnt--probably forgotten. But he asked those men about

it, and he said, Oh, no, there's nothing to that; that was done

in the Old Testament. I-didh.e---- ----- ----------; he

didn't intend for us to do that, some of our leading ministers.

He come on back, well, he didn't do it. But he got sick. Remember

Lewis when we stayed over there in the ole' John Wood's place, that's

what it was. And, uh, (Background: Put your mic on there if you

want.) They would have o-do ---- -, you know.

They were looking for him to die every night7-every day and every

night. But he had two--he had -

And they took X-rays of him and they tell us that his lungs were

(AL eat out. ckground: Your daddy? My daddy. They says his lungs

Share eat up. So, well we just give up, you know. Woodrow I believe/


stayed that night. -was ----------came in the next morning.

Woodrow said he had prayed through the night. As weak as he

was, he'd had another hemorrhage. And the doctor suggested
---- h And this old nurse come in

and she prayed -----. -

-- -- : ___---------------. About 4 o' clock

the next morning, he woke up and wanted ice and sugar.

I: Wanted ice and sugar.

S: Ice and sugar. Children he mended from then right on, he mended;

well it was just. (Background: What did the doctor say?) They

took him back down to X-ray. And they couldn't understand 1 .i.

Well, the old nurse tried to tell him.-----------------------
eJ '-< ,',, _,,,
--- r ----------- And he said he

dedicated himself and we told him what he said to do no matter what.

He says, I'll go on in spite of what everybody says, I'll go on and

do what you want me to do. Says all right -----o---you go and----;

come back and when they took him down they X-rayed him. The doctors

they took the X-rays and they said, those are clear as a bell. Well,

somebody says, well what went with this, I mean what happened? Well,
one of the doctors, Dr. Meese, Dr. Maze, Dr. Maze says,well, all we

can say is, he swallowed a whole lot of that clotted blood and he

had his lungs covered and he passed on. That's everything they could
say. And one of them they mid, well, he was in the hands of the Lord.

I: Well, they had to explain it scientifically didn't they?

S: Yeah, well, they had to, you know that. (Bakground: they had to put
--.----. ~ ~ : ..
i t down) Yeah. Well, this one of them that's a Christian--I don't

what he's a called now. But he says, this is a miracle, this is a


S..... -- swallowed the cancer, the cancer you know.

SI didrit know! I tell you it was wonderful and it was wonderful to

see how he mended, how he come home, and he had the Indian people.

And the first girl I see come in there, I believe it was, uh, the

the old man Don Clark's girl, Betty Jane.

I: How old were you when this happened, about?

S: I don't even know. I could, you know, think back and tell it, but

right now I can't. But they brought her in--we were out there behind

the bushes in the front yard, hoeing yards.

I: were still---

S: Yeah, me and Leonore. And they toted this girl in, you know, and I
*A c / .c*A -7-1 110 ^.c
said well, .And
that girl came back there working, talking, Hey, lola, what'da doing?
I said, hoeing grass, come here and help me. I mean things like that

I assumed--after he came to live with me, I---come a man out there

one night, and he had, I reckon, four big boys- -ookin boys.

He toted them in here. He had on--I'll never forget it, always

when he -----people you know I would take the kids that were

here, the grandchildren would go in that room in there. I cleaned

out the glass in that room there. I said, well I'm going to see what

you--I'm going to see if you, if you walk out there. Whenever they

started out, I kept looking for the man--kept looking for them to

carry him out. And the last man that come out jumped from the top

step down there on the ground and that was the man. He said --

the man over there across the river--but he says, honey, I'm telling


you that's the truth, I feel it.

I: Well, can you think of any of the old words, you know, which have

survived among the Lumbee Indians like old English words, mostly

I'm talking about. You know we don't notice them but when people

come in from the outside, they notice them. And sometimes they

remark Iyou know about them. For example, I always think of

jewvimber--nobody knows what a jewvimber is)but a Lumbee Indian.
I' I/
But you wouldn't have to think twice to know what a jewvimber was

would you?

S: Course not. I mean, you know, that's. .

"B{ 1B_...ag.na I've made them.

S: Yeah, that's a everyday thing here in -----------. Let's see

---.-- ; I'll probably think of something when you're gone.

I: But these words still linger on, don't they?

S: Oh, yes.
/I If
I: We say 'nigh" instead of "near"--co5e nigh. It

S: Now, that's what my daddy said, i-r La d I i t And he had

so many words he said.

I: This is very interesting to people when they come in from the outside.

But we're so used to it--we don't notice it ourselves very much. Would

you know what somebody said if he said, yourhat was on "catawhopS7."?

S: Yeah, (laugh) I say that now--boy you've got that hat on catawhopM",

take it off--I do. I really use that word, maybe I shouldn't.

I: If somebody looked at me and said, "boy you're a Tadim, Would you know

what they meant?

S: Yeah, you look kind of weird and you're not hip, as the young people


would say. But you're coarse looking. Yeah, I would say that too.

Ain't you a fadim! I tell you I bet when you leave, I can think

of some fadims.

I: And if they call them, if they said now, "put the wood on the piles"--

you would know where to put it, wouldn't you?

S: Of course, on the front porch or the back porch. Highesa (?)-----


I: Highest?

S: uh, hum.

I: Hearth?

S: Uh, hum.

I: I don't even know the correct pronunciation for it myself.

S: That is the hearth, h-e-a-r-t-h We call it the "hath".

I: Can you reme bp seeing any Indian women smoking a pipe?

S ----- ----smoked a pipe. O course, I didn't see -----'f

that was my great-grandmother. Granny smoked a pipe--little ole

Granny ---------------granny. Now,

I: Ateen, Ateen do you remember her?

S: No, I, you know, I never allowed to go out until I got grown.

I: I remember Ateen would smoke a pipe and she would--they would be

play pipes. And she would get her a coal of fire, get tongs, something

that you can, you know, use when you are mending the fire, And she

would go a-- a__a fire and light her pipe with that. A lotcf the older

ladies smoked.

S: Granny did that. Big granny h d-ittle .

I: They had to have a certain amount of age on them before you were.

S: Allowed to smoke. Because if you were caught with a cigarette back


then you were dubbed as nothing.

I: How about some of our superstitions? I know you don't believe in

old superstitions and so on but, do any of them speak of in your

mind? Have you heard--waht have you heard people say about old
Christmas, for example?

S: About the ------ -

I: Uh, huh.

S: Well, they, uh, that's what they say. They wake up at six o'clock

in the morning and -L- --C#LP---- ^ L -- -^ e^ .

Now my mother said that actually did help us. I didn't ever see it.

I: I never saw it myself but did you ever hear this--you know when
people talk about a A they used to call it a box. Did you ever

hear that if you wanted to really learn to play a box, you go to

the crossroads at midnight, seven nights)and on the seventh night,

the devil will meet you and teach you how to play.

S: (laugh)

I: Have you heard that?

S: Yeah, and that if you--if you make your crossmark, too, at the steps,

the witches can't come in the house. CTf-5 /f745 J

I: Keep the witches out.

S: It keeps the witches out to make your crossmark, you know, they won't

come under a crossmark.

I: And a horseshoe is supposed to be lucky.

S: Lucky, yeah. And, uh.

I: People have asked me lots of different questions. .for example, people

would ask about toothbrushes, now what did Indians do when they had no


toothbrushes? But they never heard of an Indian toothbrush. Do

you know what I'm talking about?

S: Uh, take white gums and cut a brush, I mean, cut a thing off

that you r -- --4. money, I'm 7. .M

-^----- doif myself. They take a big wad of sluff and

put on that and. (background: that's what the old women used)

Yeah, didn't have to buy toothbrushes--that's why we have to have

so much money now. Have to buy toothbrushes and ...

I: Uh, well everybody doesn't have bathrooms even today but, uh, ak-

me the truth, did you ever get behind the barn and get in a wooden

tub? You have to hide, you knowutll. .

S: (laugh) No, I never did that. (laugh)

I: I remember u know) when I was brought up-I know it was pretty rough.

Go to the river as often as possible for this was more pleasant than.

I: (laugh) You know when you used to go to the river swimming, nobody

wore bathing suits, at least, none of the guys did. I don't think

the girls went in.

S: No, the girls weren't allowed to go with the guys swimming. Because

the guys had to go in the nude and the girls wore fancy slips you know and

an old thin dress and. .

I: Uh, huh. And you might as well had nothing on if you had that because

it only accented .

S: (laugh) That's the truth, that's what I was fixing to say.

I: But I can remember many times, though, of being down at the river and

everybody in his birthday suit and have a watch where somebody kind of


hang out behind and somebody yell out, women, women! (laugh) You

could hear the guys falling in the water like frogs off logs you know.

And there we'd stay until the women left or until the women passed if

they were going down the path. And as soon as they were out of sight,

it was all right again.

S: And now you go to the beaches and honest, the children just don't

have on no clothes. I go down and fish sometimes.

I: Notmuch different than a bikini and the way wemight go out there.

S: No and the way the girls had to--you know, girls weren't allowed

too much to go to them. Because it was unladylike to swim and do

stuff like that.

I: I know if you were with a husband or somebody.

S: No, we weren't allowed to go with the boys for anything. Now,

my mother, I'm telling you, she was so strict it was pathetic.

But it was nice.

I: How about your dating rules?

S: Let's not talk about it. You're talking about at home when I

was at home with mama? Well, she was pretty lenient with me

after I was 19 years old. But up until I was 19 years old, I

wasn't allowed to--I wasn't allowed to date)period. I talked

to a bo Sunday evening and uh, he walked with me from the church

where you know ------- -t--church. When we came from

church and we weren't leaving about three o'clock or something.

Now she would sit there and begin to look at that clock. Until

that boy leave.

I: This would be--because at that time some people would call it

at nine but more germal ones would call at ten.


S: I've never gotten a date til I was nineteen years old. When I--

you know4-you know--when I went to dating when I ------

I: And it's the parents--if the father yelled out "bedtime" you'd

better be getting out, if you didn't you'd hear some big feet

hitting the floor and then you'd better be getting up.

S: That girl better be in bed in a few minutes.

I: They didn't repeat it.

S: No, no, uh, uh.

I: Said "bedtime"--I don't know whether had time for a last kiss or not.

S: Wonder, reckon how the girls survive now. If..

I: I think it's more lenient now, don't you?

S: It's too lenient; it's too lenient.

I: Do you think you can be--go to the extremes in other directions? Too tight?

S: Yes, you can. You can be too tight or too lenient. I, uh, my mother

was very understanding though, After she says, you're old enough now

to take care of yourself. I've taught you what's right and what's

wrong. I've taught you what will happen to you if you do something
bad. Now if you go out there and get in trouble, it's your fault.

So I was allowed to date and my sister.

I: How long did you date?

S: Hum, about two years.

I: And I don't think either one of you were ever involved with anybody


S: No. I don't know about him--I wasn't. I don't think so.

I: How about the parents. You know, when you were coming along. The

parents didn't believe in more than one boy dating the girl.


S: No, I, you--definitely did not have but one boyfriend. If you did,

you got tore up and made to stay home for good. And like--you know

like this boy come along and fussed with this boy a little. Oh,

you were branded a bad girl--you were a bad girl.

I: An aybe A had nothing at all to do with it.

S: No, no. You didn't.

I: Just happened to be free.

S: And maybe he wanted.

I: Nice curves.

S: Yeah .(laugh) The first boy I ever--walked with me from church,uh,

is na me ------ stayed in the house right

across from us. I don't know if you remember that house or not--

it's still there. But when we got along right in front of that

house, ----- sitting on the porch. And I had a great big

belt around the white dress. And that belt dropped all the way

down to the ground. And I got so embarrassed I cried and I never

talked to him again. Now he didn't have anything to do with that

belt falling nor with them laughing at me. But I couldn't stand it.

And he was a nice guy.

I: You were very sensitive.S:I was sixteen years old then. Mama says
II I '1
you had no business on tha-road with him no how.

I: Do you think Indian girls are generally shy?

S: Yeah.

I: Or shyer than other people?

S: Yes, they are.

I: Somehow this is very appealing to me when, uh, you know girls blush and


ril SeW fi o
this sort of thing. Jow speaking purely from mana point of view.

S: Uh, huh. Well, I think, maybe I'm talking out of turn but I do link

boys respect_.girls more who blush or shy.

I: This could be a front, you know.

S: Oh, how well I know that. Let's not talk about that.

I: lola, we've talked about a lot of things and uh,

(Tape fads out for a few seconds)

I: And, of course, I have really enjoyed this. And I am sure we

are bringing out some things that our readers and our listeners

don't know about and we're trying to be very casual about it and

mention some of the things--some of the personal habits. Do people

generally believe in ghosts or haints or ghosts?

S: Definitely. Let me tell you about the ghost that goes from my

father from one corner of the--out there at the mailboxe-and you've

been to my house, my daddy's house. There's, well you know where

BearSwamp Bridge is, down there close to the church, you know where

St. Anna's Church is. Well, there's a bridge down there and this

guy, they say, goes from bridge to the railroad. Or mostly down

there at Ernest Lowry's old place turned around. Now my daddy

said he had walked with him. He wasn't afraid of him. He said

he had walked with him and a lot of times and when it wasn't a man,

no head, it was a big dogT-trot right on down the road til somebody

come along, disappear.

I: Do think electric lights, when electric lights came to the country

that sort of drove them away?

S: Well, most cf the ghosts were shadows--shadows of trees, because I

heard Woodrow say one night uh, I believe it was dogfilms--you know

how they bloom in the frost--you know, just before frost hits them.


And they were staying in the woods--and he said in the storm somebody

dropped in white you know. But now I won't say that they don't some

of them see things. See jack-o-laterns--you ever seen a jack-o-latern?

I: Uh, huh. I've seen lights and couldn't figure out what they were.

And they weren't what we call lightning bugs.

S: Uh, uh. No, 't are different..

I: By the way, listeners and readers who wouldn't know what a lightning

bug is, it's a fire fly.

S: Uh, um. yeah. These are what we call jack-o-laterns. Mama called

themWeather lights. They would go over there to old man Chesnut's

place, you know that big thick building in the swamp. And the

graveyard from the St. Anna graveyard to the Graham graveyard.

I mean -------t -I

I: But otherwise, aeen- a special kind of ghost, isn't it? -etih )Ti

something--a different class of, could you say a different class

could you say, a different class instead of a plain ole' or rkfh

or. .

S: Haint, yeah, a tokeln-now I've heard lots of things I couldn't account

for but I wouldn't dare say--you know, I wouldn't argue with anybody

if that's what they were. But I never could make out what it was.

I remember when I was a girl, uh, Melissa Bame killed James Oxen

John and James killed Melissa. No, James killed Melissa and then Mr.

Buddy& A----killed James. But, uh, now he loved and respected my

father--anyone knew that. And he came there that evening and Miss

Mary had left him and Miss Mary was Melissa's sister. He was over

there at Uncle Joe's. Well, he went after her--he went over to


-- -. She didn't come. But he had been to mama's three

times that day and talked to them, you know, about Miss Mary coming
"W 1, "Ese, ,.j
back and about the children -- -------you know. Uh,--------

trouble you would call it now. That night, I don't remember

exactly where mama and daddy was at but they weren't at home, and my

older sister.. We were all in the oldpart of the old house--just

one big room and that's where we stayed. And this noise comes on

the door and knock, you know, sounds like a. to me. Lenore says,
II tl II
"come in--come on in here Floyd--she says quit cutting the fool

out there you'll scare these little younguns. Ahd, uh, come to

the door and knocked again says, "whoooooooo"' just like that. Every-

one of us heard that noise _- a -- -)-and it left.

Mama and Daddy told us that Melissa had--James had killed Melissa
Mr-, GT \eJ k;mlc/ f
and t --------- James.

I: Then a token is supposed to be a forewarning of the death to be,

isn't it?

S: Yeah, yeah

I: Instead of coming, in other words, the spirit of the person about to

die or be killed visits.

S: Somebody they feel near to. They feel near or love the person and

uhWat we call a-------- after they're dead.

I: And this doesn't belong to any particular person, I mean you don't

usually identify it with any particular person, do you?

S: No, I'll tell you, if you dig down deep enough you can find it's

general, you know it's all through the whole time, because somebody,

somewhere, everywhere that believes it.

I: So everybody says that he doesn't believe in ghosts is not necessarily


being truthful, is he?

S: NO, I mean a lot of time they do that, because, you know they don't

allow it. They don't want you to think they're crazy or something.

Well, I could care less---I don't care anything -------------(laugh)

I: Iola, you're a delight.

S: Oh, well, I'm me, you're you. I'm supposed to think what I want to

think and do what I want to do if it's all right.

I: Right.

S: And if it don't offend you too much.por bother you, I'm supposed to

do and think like I want to.

I: You couldn't possibly offend me.

S: (laugh) Oh, well, I wouldn't try. I've known you too long. And I

think about you a whole lot and I'm kind of proud of you.

I: Well, you're very kind and I'm really proud of you. And, uh, I think

we're going to be moving along. But I've enjoyed this. I completely

forgot what we were doingien I start talking to you, I forget about

other things and just listen.

S: Well, it's vice versa. Which, you, well, you really .. .

I: You're certainly a delightful person and

S: Thanks a lot.

I: And we appreciate so much your giving us your time. I know how:.busy

you are. Yet you've given us your time. And this will help others

to understand us a little bit better perhaps.
S: I hope so. And I hope it will help you too.

I: Well, thank you very much. And we thank you for the Doris Duke Foundation

and I thank you personally. It's been a delight. And I wish we had


time to stay longer.

S: Oh, yeah we've been talking the whole tape, didn't we--just talk?

I: We sure did. Uh, huh. Well, thank you very much now and I guess

we're going to have to be moving along because I'm supposed to

meet another engagement.

S: We'll I've enjoyed it and I certainly hope I can help you.

I: Well, you have--you've helped us a lot.

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